It doesn't matter how trained you are, or how many times you've watched those idyllic videos with the SPL running PLC and troop meetings like a pro; until your own troop "gets it", it's a bit painful to experience.
Despite being a trained leader, having attended NYLT as a youth, and Wood Badge for the 21st Century, I've never been in a troop - even as a youth - where the SPL ran the troop, or PLC was held. A bit of a sad commentary on the programs I was in I guess, but the more I read and study the program and get the vision of scouting, I know it needs to be done this way. So I'm going to do all I can to make sure it does.
Last night was our first go at PLC. Parents of SPL/PLs were notified and confirmed scouts could attend. SPL and PLs were notified of the meeting time and reminded of what they need to bring. I had planned this first PLC to be an orientation to how the meeting should run, and from here out it's the SPL's meeting.
Well.. The SPL showed up over 30 minutes late. He wasn't particularly engaged, and wasn't taking notes - even as we covered the troop meeting agenda which followed immediately after PLC.
Troop meeting was shaky, but ours are often a bit unruly due to some behavior/discipline problems. But the SPL was in charge, and it was his meeting with just some gentle guidance and support.
The good news is the PLs, which are some of the younger scouts actually, seem to be catching the vision and I have hope that with practice and training they'll understand how the program should run and when they are elected SPL one day, they'll understand how to run the program.
I know it doesn't happen overnight, and I won't let the program flop, but I do want the scouts to take ownership and fill their appointed roles in the troop. It's not just their duty, but it's their program; and they will enjoy it and benefit SO much more if they are running the program.
If we're building tomorrow's leaders, we have to let them lead.